What are Orthotics?
The term “orthotic” can refer to any added support worn inside your shoe. A true functional foot orthotic is a clinically-developed medical device that cups the heel and supports the arch. They are biomechanically engineered to support the 26 bones of each foot and provide better control and alignment. Orthotics may be fabricated or custom made for your feet.
Orthotics can limit excessive foot motion as well as make other motion more efficient. They can redistribute excess pressure areas, relieve medical pain, eliminate functional ailments and protect against further progression of foot problems and resultant pathologies in a conservative and effective way.
In addition to treating existing conditions, well-fabricated functional foot orthotics serve as a preventive measure to help control progression of mechanical problems before they become unmanageable. They also help prevent injuries for some athletes.
Are Custom Orthotics Expensive?
As with any custom item, custom orthotics will most likely cost more than any generic prefabricated shoe insert found at a retail shop or drugstore. Keep in mind these custom devices have been designed and manufactured just for you! Many insurance plans offer to cover some or all costs of custom prescription orthotics.
How do I get Orthotics?
First, your doctor will complete an examination and diagnosis of your particular foot problem. Your doctor may dispense a prefabricated device immediately. If your condition requires a custom device, your doctor will cast or capture digital scans of your feet in a specific position. Your casts or digital scans and prescription are sent to an orthotic laboratory and are used to produce your custom orthotics.
How do Orthotics Work?
Orthotics are designed to fit comfortably and to be worn most of the time. As your foot rests on the orthotic, it is gently and consistently aligned into the correct position for walking, running and standing.
Pressure points, improper motion of the foot, and painful muscle stain are all improved because your foot is functioning more efficiently. Orthotics will fit in most shoes. Your doctor will discuss appropriate shoes during your visit.
How long do I wear Orthotics?
Orthotics are comfortable and help your feet function properly, so naturally you will want to wear them in all your shoes. Orthotics don’t cure your foot problem but rather change the function of your foot as long as you wear them regularly. Remember, your feet are the foundation for your entire body. Even the slightest misalignment of the bones and muscles can cause considerable discomfort. Consistently wearing custom or functional prefabricated orthotics can help your overall well-being.
Who should wear Foot Orthotics?
The medical literature says that most foot pain is the result of abnormal relationships between the bones and the muscles of your foot. When the bones and muscles of your foot are not aligned properly, any number of problems can result, such as pronation, flatfeet, persistent ankle sprains, bunions and heel pain.
Each of these problems has a different origin and they can be helped with custom or prefabricated orthotics.
In addition to wearing custom orthotics or functional prefabricated orthotics, your foot specialist may also recommend:
- Stretching exercises
- Physical therapy
- Appropriately fitting shoes
- Increasing or reducing physical activities
Clinical research studies shown that prescription foot orthotics decrease foot pain and improve function and quality of life.
Benefits of ProLab Orthotics
Wearing orthotics improve the quality of life for many people. Depending on your specific condition, orthotics can correct or accommodate certain foot motion to:
- Relieve pain, enabling you to stand, walk, or run for longer periods of time.
- Prevent or protect against injury
- Reduce pressure in key areas for improved comfort.
These custom medical devices were made specifically for your feet to ensure that your medical needs are being accommodated.
Your custom orthotics were designed to improve your body movement and function. It takes time for your body to adapt to these changes. Mild aches or discomfort may occur initially in your feet, ankles, legs, hips, or back. If symptoms persist after the initial break-in period, contact your doctor.
When used properly, your orthotics can provide many years of comfort and support. The following guidelines will assist you in wearing and caring for your ProLab Orthotics. Check with your doctor for any special instruction.
- 1. Place the orthotic I the correct shoe (there is a left and a right orthotic). Make sure that it fits securely in the heel. You may need to remove the insoles from your shoes before positioning the orthotics.
- 2. Wear your orthotics for only 1-2 hours the first two days.
- 3. Add an hour each day until you can comfortably wear your orthotics all day. The break-in period may differ from person to person.
- 4. If your orthotics pinch, cause blisters, or if you experience great discomfort, stop wearing them and contact your doctor.
To derive the maximum benefit from your orthotics, your doctor may recommend that you wear them all the time. Luckily, orthotics can be made to fit in nearly every type of shoe.
Full-support orthotics are designed to provide the best possible foot control. They are made to fit in a standard walking or running shoe. This is often the first type of orthotic prescribed to ensure that you will derive the maximum benefit from your orthotic therapy.
Dress Shoe Orthotics
These orthotics are made with a thinner material and are specially designed to fit into a dress shoe. They are made in a narrow width with a shallow heel cup to fit into a slim dress shoe, while allowing sufficient room for your feet.
Sport Shoe Orthotics
Some sport shoes, such as cleats, skates, or ski boots have a unique shape and may not accommodate your full-support orthotics. Occasionally orthotics customized for these types of shoes may need to be sent back to the laboratory for additional fittings. It is important that you have orthotics to wear during activities so that you receive the correction or protection that your doctor has recommended.